Tuesday, August 05, 2008
A bright morning in Nias Island
Today we had a meeting of all Selection Team of Electoral Committee from 28 districts in North Sumatera Province.
My team is from Selection Team of Nias Selatan District (Tim Seleksi Kabupaten Nias Selatan). This team will elect 10 candidates for District Electoral Committee (KPU Kabupaten) serving for 5 years and is in charge for every political election of legislators, president, governor and head of district in the region. Choosing (electing) the 10 candidates for the KPU Kabupaten then is too political, I mean, this task is very much political interest covered.
Soon after the meeting, I had a call from someone who has interest for our job. As usual he tried to offer a sort of bribe. Damn! I directly say no and soon closed the phone!
I know it gonna be tough. Today is just the starting. Out of 5 members, I think, I and one of my my colleagues, Sehati Halawa, are on our principle to be independent, objective and accountable to do the selection. We realized the other three have their own hidden agendas. I do realize that the pressure will be there. I hope I could be strong enough to say no for any sort of bribe in whatever means and could face any physical pressure or mob pressure. The mob pressure is the tough one. Yes, the district, Nias Selatan, is well known for the physical pressure. The district is sort of 'cowboy town' where mobilizing crowd (mob pressure) is always used for political interest and political bargaining. It has its own history.
i do realize that being a member of the selection team is a choice. It's a choice to do something better for the district in which at the end of the day will effect the people. it's an advocacy (involving in public decision making). And i do also realize the consequences for taking the task as well. But for me, personnally, it's not only doing the advocacy where you are involved in decision making for the benefit of the people but also It's kind of re-testing idealism in different level. In past, when I was student activist there were temptations and i passed. When managing big amount of humanitarian aid the temptations were there but thankfully I passed them. Now, in different level, it's not only the temptation but also the mob pressure will be there. I do realize that. I often faced the pressure from others but this one is different as I am going to face the local political party's power and also the local government's power. They (political party and local government) have power and very much interest in our task. If i pass, i can keep being as what i choose want to be. But if i fail, i'll be sorry for my life and for the people i fight for.
I'll see how far I can go..